SINGAPORE – California-based venture capital firm 500 Startups recently kicked off the 500 Startups Global Launch, a program connecting high-flying post series A startups from all over the world. The 16-week Singapore Launch program helps startups grow in Southeast Asia through the sharing of deep market insights, firsthand coaching and exposure to the fund’s network of talent and potential investors. Companies accepted in the Singapore Launch program are going through an intensive immersion in Singapore’s business scene through May this year.
Some of the startups participating in the program include startups such as the wellness app Naluri, travel tech app Atta, gaming subscription service Go Games and buy-and-sell platform for clothing Clotify to data workspace company Datagran.
Of course, the Philippines is also represented: Manila-based Premium Employment platform Penbrothers (PB) is proud to fly the Filipino flag as part of the prestigious program.
Founded in 2014 by Guilherme Faria and Nicolas Bivero with the support of Gabrielle Pratte, Penbrothers helps startups and SMEs from all over to scale up their business by providing talent sourcing and HR management services.
The solutions provided by Penbrothers could prove especially useful for Singaporean businesses in particular, where the pool of talent in the island nation can be small. Penbrothers hopes that their inclusion in the program will encourage Singaporean startups to consider sourcing more employees from the Philippines, something that their counterparts in other countries have already been doing.
“I genuinely believe that the best talent in the world is right here in the Philippines! Everyone knows about the exceptional English & significant cost savings – what I find far more important is the characteristics of the Filipino workforce, which are resilience, adaptability & loyalty!” exclaimed Penbrothers Managing Director Josef Werker.
Co-founder Guilherme Faria previously bared that he was actually inspired to start Penbrothers after encountering problems while trying to expand operations for his other startup, Luxclusif. Though he quickly found local talent to work with, Faria laments that he was unable to offer employment benefits due to the difficulties of registering in the Philippines. This is when Nicolas brought the idea of creating a platform to solve that problem. Penbrothers was born.
“It’s all too often that we see ambitious, idealistic startups with compelling visions sadly ruined by an inability to keep up with rising costs of doing business. Companies like Penbrothers can save the day, and programs like the 500 Startups Global Launch make connecting with them easier than ever,” added Faria.
“Hiring talent is often one of the biggest concerns startups have. With the rise of productivity tools and people analytics platforms, which has helped make remote working more transparent and manageable, Penbrothers is well-positioned to help startups access an expanding talent pool in the Philippines. We’re excited to have them join our program and launch in Singapore in the next few months, and help startups in Singapore build and scale their teams.” said Ee Ling, 500 Startups Country Head of Singapore, Innovation and Partnerships.
Penbrothers helps startups and enterprises from all over the world by providing the very best in human resource, payroll and enrollment services. With over 100 global clients under our belt, Penbrothers is the number one platform for connecting up-and-coming businesses with the very best talent that the Philippines has to offer.
About 500 Startups
500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. It is one of the most active venture capital firms in the world. Since its inception in Silicon Valley, 500 Startups has invested in over 2,400 companies via its 5 global funds and 17 thematic funds dedicated to either specific geographic markets or verticals. Its 100+ team members are located in 20 countries around the world in order to support the 500 Startups global portfolio of investments which spans more than 75 countries. Notable investments in the 500 portfolio include Credit Karma, Twilio, Canva, Grab, Bukalapak, The RealReal, Talkdesk, Knotel, Udemy, and Ipsy. Beyond providing seed capital, 500 supports startups via their Seed Accelerator Programs which emphasize digital marketing, customer acquisition, lean startup practices, and fundraising for pre-Seed companies. 500 Startups further contributes to the development of innovation ecosystems by supporting startups and investors through educational programs, events, conferences, and partnerships with corporations and governments around the world.